When the Republican Gingrich devolution took over Congress in 1995, it stripped the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) of all its funding and left it a shell with no experts to advise committees and members of Congress.
Whereupon Congress was plunged into a dark age regarding decisions about trillions of national security, offshore oil drilling, transportation, energy, health, computer, biotech, nanotechnology and many other executive branch programs in science and technology.
Hitler’s German army invaded and occupied Poland. Many soldiers were killed. The Japanese invaded and occupied Nanking and Shanghai. They had many soldiers killed. The same for the British when they occupied India and Palestine. The local populations did not wish to be occupied by foreigners, especially ones with loaded guns pointed at their faces. The Indians of the plains did not take well to our Calvary and forts. Many of our young troops were slaughtered at Little Big Horn, because they were seen as invaders. The people of Germany, Japan, Britain, America mourned those soldiers killed while occupying foreign soil, and rightly so. Yet, to honor them does an injustice to the victims of their occupation. Why? Well, in all the above instances, those nations illegally occupied the countries mentioned. So, to honor a soldier that is used for such heinous acts is an injustice to both the memory of him and the memory of the victims of such assaults.
Recently, it was announced that the 1,000th U.S. soldier was killed in Afghanistan. By Memorial Day, 2010, U.S. taxpayers will have spent $1 TRILLION on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. More than one million Iraqis have been killed in our illegal, unnecessary war of lies and aggression on Iraq, and uncounted tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Afghanis and Pakistanis have been killed in the Bush-Obama Af-Pak Wars of choice and Empire in those devastated, poor lands.
In addition, more than 300,000 U.S. and NATO soldiers, and millions of Iraqis, Afghanis, and Pakistanis have been maimed in these wars. Nearly five million Iraqis, and hundreds of thousands of Afghanis and Pakistanis, have been displaced by these U.S.-NATO wars.
RussiaToday — May 28, 2010 — Gaza could be set for its latest humanitarian, and possibly military, confrontation. An international flotilla carrying aid is heading there, in defiance of a blockade imposed by Israel. Tel Aviv is preparing to block the effort at all costs.
With the Gulf Coast dying of oil poisoning, there’s no space in the press for British Petroleum’s latest spill, just this week: over 100,000 gallons, at its Alaska pipeline operation. A hundred thousand used to be a lot. Still is.
On Tuesday, Pump Station 9, at Delta Junction on the 800-mile pipeline, busted. Thousands of barrels began spewing an explosive cocktail after “procedures weren’t properly implemented” by BP operators. “Procedures weren’t properly implemented” is, it seems, BP’s company motto.
Few Americans know that BP owns the controlling stake in the trans-Alaska pipeline; but, unlike with the Deepwater Horizon, BP keeps its Limey name off the Big Pipe.
I’m all in favor of knowingly jousting at windmills, so good luck to Cenk Uygur for arm-twisting Goldman Sachs to repay (only) $12.9 billion via loans guaranteed by our “reform” government. Problem is, where’s the public leverage – corporate largesse forced by street marches? Consumer outrage or feisty editorials? Targeted, ex post facto penalty taxes? With this corporate Supreme Court doing the review?
The best protests identify achievable game plans, and Uygur’s tactic withers without endorsement by a business-friendly president, Congress, and Supreme Court. That row of windmills makes this less a protest than dream quest. There’s an infinitely simpler, more far-ranging protest, requiring no indirection, Congressional maneuvers or suspect legalisms. Ask the president to return your campaign contributions – and not for his “pragmatic,” bait-and-policy switches, but simple non-performance, in fact, inept management style reminiscent of Bush-Cheney’s crisis-management.